June 3, 2005
Mercury Register June 20, 1945
JIM SHAWGO SAYS OKINAWA IS SIMILAR TO CALIFORNIA
The weather on Okinawa is ideal since it is similar to the type
found in most sections of California. Pfc. James C. Shawgo
said in a letter to his mother Mrs. R. R. Henley of Oakland. He
also said the countryside is similar to that of Oroville with rocky
ridges, light red clay soil and valleys covered with rice paddies.
The civilian population numbers close to a million. They are a mixture
of Nippon, Chinese, Russian, Korean and other races. Their eyes
have the Oriental slant and having been slaves to Japan for so long
they are pro-Japanese. Several hundred of them have been rounded
up from caves in the area of Shawgo’s battery section, he said.
And sent back to their villages to prevent our men from shooting
them at night when they are mistaken for enemy soldiers. Shawgo
is a spotter for artillery. The picture of his was taken somewhere
in the Solomon Islands.
Stu’s Notes: Last week I was called upon to help a WWII Veteran
to move. I happened to speak to his next door neighbor and found
out that he was an old friend who worked with my Dad years ago.
He worked at Wards for 8 years and my dad took him to work. He wanted
to pay, but my dad would not take his money. His name is Johnny
Lee. He told me his cousin was killed in WWII- Lee Denney. I checked
my records and found it was Carl Denney, Lee’s Brother. He was lost
at Sea. Another brother Howard Denney was grazed by a sniper and
lay wounded on the field of battle. The GI’s told a German prisoner
he had to go out and drag Howard in or they would shoot him. He
did. Howard told Johnny Lee when he woke up he couldn’t believe
who was dragging him, especially to the American lines.
The Veteran I was helping to move is a friend of Susan Sharon’s.
Susan is retired from the U.S. Air Force; her friend is Willis.
He went into Normandy right after D. Day. Entering a house he and
his buddy looked into the basement saw with a flash light he had
just found a bunch of apples. He remembered a story Germans put
out things for GI’s to reach for, as he backed up 6 Germans down
there opened up with machine pistols, he was hit in his hand,0 his
flash light threw out and a bullet creased his leg. His buddy lost
his foot. Willis pulled him up the stairs in one of those feats
of strength that comes to a man at such times. A couple of grenades
took care of the Germans. Patched up at the Hospital he went back
to the Front. After the battle of the Bulge and was hit by a shell
that exploded overhead, tore off a big part of his upper thigh.
Willis was in the Hospital 18 months. He said that in a hospital
a southern doctor mistreated them because they were Yankees.
Also this week Gloria Pogue, who had heard about our Memorial
called me and invited me to the Calvary Temple in Yuba City to see
what was a very moving service of real life portrayal of our soldiers
in Vietnam, WWI and WWII were also featured. To top that off they
had the now famous moveable Vietnam Wall, a ½ size model of the
one in Washington D.C. Gloria told me her son Michael was killed
in Vietnam and that he had been born in Oroville at the Curren Hospital.
She was raised in Oroville. Graduated Oroville High School in the
early 40’s and would be glad to have us honor her son here. He is
already honored in Colusa as he went to High school there. To my
way of thinking any man who gave the ultimate sacrifice to his country
would and should be honored anyplace he has ties too.